Something troubling you? Share it with your new BFs, Jo Davison and Nik Brear
I’m fifteen years old and I’m so scared because I’ve just found out that I’m pregnant.
My boyfriend and I have been going out for over a year and we both wanted to have sex. We love each other. It seemed right and we felt that it had moved relationship to the next level.
We have known each other since primary school and I have always felt safe with him. But since I told him about the pregnancy he’s changed. Suddenly he doesn’t want to know me and has even hinted that he thinks the baby may not be his, which has hurt me so much. He knows he is the only boy I have ever slept with.
When I first realised I was pregnant I tried to talk to him about what to do and asked him to be with me when I told my mum and dad. He just refused point blank.
I did it on my own, which was so scary, but once my parents had got over the shock they were great. They have supported me to make the decision that’s best for me. Which is, keeping the baby. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I knew I couldn’t have an abortion. My mum and dad are now helping me to plan for the baby.
But my boyfriend has insisted that I have an abortion and told me that if I keep the baby he doesn’t want anything to do with it or me. A week ago he got so angry about it that he slapped me. He was sorry about it straight away and cried, but he explained that the baby was too much pressure on top of GCSEs and thinking about 6th form colleges. I know that he still hasn’t told his mum or dad.
We both had plans to be lawyers and he told me that he’s afraid that neither of us will be able to do what we plan if we have a baby.
My parents think that I should cut him out of my life now, and that him slapping me is a sign of things to come.
But I understand that he’s just scared and I’m sure he will come round when the baby comes. I really love him and am afraid that I’m going to lose him. Should I have the abortion to keep him, or should I listen to my what my heart and my parents are saying and be a single mum?
You thought your relationship would move on to another level when you had sex - and didn’t it just?
The level you had never considered, or presumably protected yourself from, was parenthood.
Your boyfriend has behaved terribly towards you. The fact that he resorted to violence is inexcusable, but that slap, and his attempt to skirt the reality of the situation - firstly by suggesting the baby may not be his and secondly in not telling his parents - are clear indications of how very immature he still is. He sounds terrified of the responsibility of fatherhood - he knows he is nowhere near ready for it. And while you could say that is cowardly and deeply hurtful, it is also a sign that he is being honest with himself. Which is something I feel you are not being.
You believe that once he sees his child’s face, he will melt and profess undying love and support. But you are wrong. That’s not going to happen and you should not be thinking about keeping the baby as a means of holding on to him. Equally, though, you shouldn’t have a termination to keep him.
This is not about him. It’s about your life - and your baby’s. You need to get your head out of happily-ever-after fantasy-land and be brutally honest with yourself. You are still a child; can you really cope with motherhood? If it puts an end to your career dreams, how will that feel? And will you be able to give a child the bottomless pit of love, support and self-sacrifice that it deserves? Being a parent isn’t all joy. There are many incredibly difficult times; just ask your parents about that.
Your boyfriend’s behaviour is that of a scared little boy, which is essentially what he is. I understand you’re both in an incredibly difficult and scary position, but there is absolutely no excuse for him hitting you. Any boy who resorts to using his fists to get his point across is not somebody you need to be involved with, and it’s certainly not the kind of relationship you want to bring a child into. I know you say he was upset and sorry, but don’t fool yourself that that makes him different to other abusive men. That makes him a stereotype - at least the first few times.
Since you found out you were pregnant, your boyfriend’s wanted nothing to do with you, has insisted you get an abortion and even suggested the baby is not his. He is clearly not prepared to deal with what is happening and please don’t think the arrival of a baby will change this. This is a decision you have to make for yourself and you cannot base any part of it on the involvement you wish or hope he will have.
Try this: imagine your best friend comes to you, in exactly the position you’re in now. Listen to your story through a fresh pair of ears, think about what advice you would give her.
You’re in a tough position, no doubt. But unfortunately this is one of the possibilities that comes along with having sex - no matter your age - and you have some very adult decisions to make that will affect the rest of your life. You’re luckier than most however, you have the support of loving parents who can help you cope with whatever comes next. The answer is, of course, always listen to your heart.
* Dr. Jacqueline Lynch, consultant clinical psychologist and director of Chrysalis Associates, the independent service for looked-after and adopted children, advises:
You’re facing a life-changing time as you prepare to juggle motherhood with GCSEs, A levels and a future career. And while you may be ready to be a mum, you boyfriend isn’t ready to be a dad. It’s understandable he’s scared, but it’s not acceptable for him to blackmail you into an abortion. Ask yourself if he is worth giving up your unborn child for. Do you want to be with a man who is prepared to resort to violence to get you to do what he wants? You have decided to keep your baby and you have support from home. You may be wise to listen to your parents, Whatever you decide, though, it’s you who has to live with the consequences.
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